Archive for the ‘3rd Sunday’ Category

God is Waiting to be Found 4-18-2021

Saturday, April 17th, 2021

The disciples ran to Jerusalem with exciting news.
“We just saw Jesus,” they exclaimed.
The others crowded around to get the details. They all wanted to
know how he looked. And you would have thought that these two
people who had just seen Jesus would have remembered how he looked,
but they could not do it. What was wrong with them?
All they could say were things like:
“He looked like a father stretching out his hands to his prodigal son
and his older brother.”
“He looked like he did when he laid his hands on all the sick,
restoring them all to health.”
“He looked like he did when he took Jairus’s daughter by the hand
and brought her back to life.”
“He looked like the apostles when they distributed those five
loaves and two fishes to those five thousand hungry people. “He looked like the hemorrhaging woman who reached out her
hand and touched his cloak and was healed.”
“He looked like the woman who washed his feet with her perfume
and was blessed with his forgiveness and peace.”
“He looked like the widow with hands folded in prayer, seeking
justice from that corrupt judge.”
“He looked like he did on the night before he died when he took
bread and broke it saying, ‘This is my body to be given up for you. Do
this as a remembrance of me.’”
So this is how they described Jesus’ appearance. And every time
after that, whenever they saw hands reaching out to touch the lives of
others, they saw Jesus alive.
I close with this story: A little boy was playing hide-and-seek with
his friends. For some unknown reason they stopped playing while he
was hiding. He began to cry. His old grandfather came out of the house
to see what was troubling him and to comfort him. After learning what
had happened, the grandfather said, “Do not weep, my child, because the boys did not come to find you. Perhaps you can learn a lesson from this disappointment. All of life is like a game between God and us. Only it
is God who is weeping, for we are not playing the game fairly. God is
waiting to be found, but many have gone in search of other things.”
In so many ways, the risen Christ is in our midst, present in the
love, charity and goodness of others, in the Sacrament of Eucharist, in
God’s Word – Broken and Shared, in the Community of Faith Filled
People and in moments of Grace and Prayer. Unfortunately, we often do
not realize it.
May our celebration open our hearts and spirits to recognize Christ
among us in every season of our life. “Lord, help us not to miss you.
Amen.”

Enough 3-7-2021

Saturday, March 6th, 2021

Enough, she said sadly. This wasn’t working. They had some
wonderful times together and he was a nice guy – but it was clear, at
least to her, that each wanted different things out of life. So, with tears
in her eyes and a smile on her face, she wished him well and they parted.
Enough, he said with frustration. The project was going nowhere.
They were wasting valuable time and resources. There were too many
competing visions and goals – and egos. He decided to cancel the next
meeting; instead, he spoke one-on-one with each member of the team.
He reviewed what needed to be done to move forward. Then he and the
team member decided together whether he or she should continue
working on the project. A smaller, more focused and in-sync group then
brought the work to completion.
Enough, they said. It had been a long year, with both Mom and
Dad working at home and the kids attending classes online in their
rooms. Living in the same 3,000 square-feet of space 24/7 can’t help but
lead to impatience, bickering, boredom, and frankly, loneliness. So Mom and Dad announced a cleaning day. Every room of the house –
yes, including your rooms, kids – would be vacuumed, cleaned and
dusted. Clothes would be hung up (laundered, if needed), books and
games put back where they belonged, and stuff not needed would be
donated or tossed. Everyone worked together cleaning the kitchen and
shared family spaces. The day ended with pizza and a movie. Dinner
was restored as “sacred time”, with everyone assigned a role and
attendance mandatory. With a clean and orderly house, they found that
their attitudes had gotten a bit more positive. The started to be a family
again. Just enough…..
We all reach the point of “enough”: when we’re tired of accepting
less than what’s possible, when what’s right and just eludes us because
of selfishness and avarice, when we refuse to remain silent any longer
for the sake of complacency posing as “peace”. Jesus reaches that point
of “enough” in today’s Gospel: “enough” of the commerce and profit
that has degraded the temple – the time had come to restore the temple
as a place of prayer, of welcome and peace, of charity and kindness. What Jesus does in the cleansing of the temple we must do in our lives:
“enough” of the merchants who try to sell us on a set of beliefs and
values based on self-interest and greed; “enough” of the “money
changers” who shortchange us of the time and attention we want for
family and friends; “enough” of the useless, the meaningless, and the
destructive that make our lives less than what God created them to be.
Amen

The Cloak of Religion, The Heart of Christ 1-24-2021

Sunday, January 24th, 2021

Everyone likes to be around a success story. Some of these
disciples mentioned, Peter, Andrew, James, John: became very
successful apostles for Christ’s mission. They were not perfect,
but the Lord asked them to do a lot of good to build up the
Kingdom of God.
One of the early disciples was not very successful. No one
wanted to be around him. Very few books were written about him,
“Judas, the Traitor”. I really believe there is something we can
learn from Judas.
I’ve wondered at times what kind of man this Judas was.
What he looked like, how he acted, who his friends were. I guess
I’ve stereotyped him. I’ve always pictured him as a wiry, beady-
eyed, sly, wormy fellow, pointed beard and all. I’ve pictured him
as estranged from the other apostles. Friendless. Distant.
Undoubtedly he was a traitor and a weasel. Probably the result of
a broken home. A juvenile delinquent in his youth No, I think we’ve got Judas pegged wrong. Perhaps, he was
just the opposite. Instead of sly and wiry, maybe he was robust
and jovial. Rather than quiet and introverted, he could have been
outgoing and well-meaning. I don’t know.
But for all the things we don’t know about Judas, there is one
thing we know for sure. He had no relationship with Jesus. He
had seen Jesus but did not know Him. He had heard Jesus, but he
did not understand Him. He had a religion but no relationship.
As Satan worked his way around the table in the upper room,
he needed a special kind of man to betray our Lord. He needed a
man who had seen Jesus but who did not know Him. He needed a
man who know the actions of Jesus but missed out on the mission
of Jesus. Judas was the man.
We learn a timeless lesson from the betrayer. Satan’s best
tools of destruction are not from outside the church; they are
within the church. A church will never die from immorality in Hollywood or the corruption in Washington. But it will die from
corrosion within. From those who bear the name of Jesus but never met Him and from those who have religion but no
relationship. Judas bore the cloak of religion, but he never knew
the heart of Christ.
I close with this: Calling ourselves a Christian; calling
ourselves a Catholic Church, Catholic School, is a Big Waste of
Time; unless first we know the Heart of Christ, and unless we have
a growing alive relationship with Jesus Christ.
The choice is ours;
1. The Cloak of Religion
2. The Heart of Christ.
I pray we choose wisely